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12.6.

2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/45

As far as the Commission is concerned, a Communication (1) was adopted on 7 May 2002 on integrated
management of external borders. This Communication is a reply to conclusion 42 of the Laeken European
Council (14/15 December 2001) asking ‘the Council and the Commission to work out arrangements for
co-operation between services responsible for external border control and to examine the conditions in
which a mechanism or common services to control external borders could be created …’. As a
consequence the Communication expresses among other issues some recommendations and first
reflections regarding the concept of a European Corps of Border Guard. The Communication stresses
however that the establishment of such a European Corps would require ‘most likely (…) amendment of
the Treaties’.

At this stage of reflections on the powers that could be conferred on a European Corps of Border Guards,
the Communication refers to ‘Article 62 of the EC Treaty, without prejudice to police co-operation efforts
under agreements based on Articles 7 and 47 of the Schengen Convention’. Whilst recognising the special
position of the United Kingdom and Ireland, the Commission has underlined in its Communication that
action to strengthen the Union’s external frontiers is of importance to all Member States. In this respect,
much of the focus needs to be on enhanced operational co-operation. This can benefit from the experience
and input of all Member States.

(1) Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament COM(2002) 233 final:
‘Towards integrated management of the external borders of the Member States of the European Union’.

(2003/C 137 E/051) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2085/02


by Enrique Barón Crespo (PSE) to the Council

(12 July 2002)

Subject: Comprehensive treatment plan for diabetics

On Parliament’s initiative, diabetes was included in the Sixth Framework Programme for Research as one
of the medical conditions to be worked on. Since there are an estimated 19 million known diabetics in the
EU (and probably a further 6 million undiagnosed), does the Council not think that there is a need for a
specific comprehensive priority plan (involving harmonisation of the individual Member States’ regulations)
relating to the disease which, in Europe, causes one death every six minutes?

Reply

(6 February 2003)

As pointed out by the Honourable Member, research on certain aspects of diabetes forms part of the
research priorities of the Sixth Framework Programme for Research, as adopted by the European
Parliament and Council in codecision. These priorities are sharply focused, in order to concentrate
resources on narrow, well-defined areas where they can achieve critical mass and create real added-value
for the European citizen. The Community contribution to the funding of diabetes research in Europe,
however, is a very limited part of a considerable overall public and private RTD effort which is
commensurate with the scale of the health problem.

In Section 1 of the Framework Programme ‘Integrating European Research’, the content of Thematic
Priority 1.1.1., ‘Life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health’, point B, ‘Combating major diseases’
forsees:

Application-oriented approach to medical genomics knowledge and technologies including the use of
animal and plant genomics where relevant, mainly in the following fields (1):

 combating diabetes, diseases of the nervous system (such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s
disease and new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and, where relevant, mental illness), cardio-
vascular diseases, and rare diseases;
(…)
C 137 E/46 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.2003

The text of the draft Council decision adopting a specific programme for research, technological
development and demonstration: ‘Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area’ (2002-2006),
adopted on 30 September 2002, states, with regard to combating major diseases, that the strategic
objective of this line is to develop improved strategies for the prevention and management - using also
advanced technologies for health - of human disease and for living and ageing healthily. It will concentrate
exclusively on integrating genomic approaches through all relevant organisms into more established
medical approaches for investigating disease and health determinants. The emphasis will be put on
transnational research aimed at bringing basic knowledge through to clinical application. Research actions
in the field of combating diabetes will focus on integrating clinical expertise with relevant model systems
and advanced tools in functional genomics to generate breakthroughs in the prevention and management
of this disease.

In addition, diabetes research activities in Europe will also be supported under Section 3 of the Framework
Programme ‘Strengthening the foundations of the European Research Area’. This section will provide funds
for fellowships as well as for networking of national diabetes research activities. This aspect is considered
particularly important in order to contribute to the creation of a European Research Area.

Thus, the Sixth Framework Programme will certainly make an important contribution to the fight against
diabetes, reflecting the common intention of the European Parliament and the Council. The Council would
also point out to the Honourable Member that Member States are responsible for the organisation and
delivery of their own health services. Furthermore, whilst Article 152(4) allows for ‘incentive measures
designed to protect and improve human health’, ‘harmonisation of the laws and regulations of the Member
States’ is excluded. There is therefore no scope for the Council to harmonise regulations in the area of
diabetes. However, as described above the Council has taken action where it is legitimately entitled to do
so.

(1) Footnote: See also Section 1.2.1. ‘Policy support and anticipating scientific and technological needs’ and Heading III
(Strengthening the foundations of the European Research Area) for other health-related topics.

(2003/C 137 E/052) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2102/02


by Paulo Casaca (PSE) to the Commission

(16 July 2002)

Subject: Portuguese version of proposal for a regulation COM(2001) 83 final, 14 February 2001

Gratefully taking the Commission up on its invitation in reply 1616/02 (1), I would like to specify that the
two central terms around which the Commission’s proposal revolves are ‘breakdown’ translated by
‘discriminaçaõ’, which is used seven times, and ‘size’ translated as ‘densidade’, which is used thirteen times,
with variations such as ‘densidade demográfica das regiões’, ‘densidade média (en termos demográficos)’,
‘densidade média das unidades’ and ‘desvio-padrão da densidade em termos demográficos’.

It is not literally impossible to translate ‘breakdown’ by ‘discriminaçaõ’, but this is not the appropriate
translation for referring to territorial division or breakdown, not only because this is not the expression
used in this context (and this issue was actually the subject of a referendum in Portugal, which means that
it is one with which people are fully familiar in our country), but because it suggests discrimination in the
usual sense, i.e. segregation, with highly negative connotations, particularly in the context of a text like the
proposal on territorial nomenclature.

As for ‘densidade’, in all the forms deployed, this is a concept which has nothing to do with the subject
dealt with by the Regulation, which is the territorial breakdown of the territory by population size
categories, and never by ‘densidades’.

Population density represents the quotient which gives the average number of individuals per surface unit
of a territorial unit, and is a totally different concept from ‘size’, which means that the repeated
deployment of ‘densidade’, with the added aggravation of the adjectival forms used, renders the text
incomprehensible.